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Journal of Animal Health and Production

Research Article
J. Anim. Health Prod. 7(3): 119-125
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Sang-Hwan Kim1, Jong-Taek Yoon1,2*

1Institute of Genetic Engineering, Hankyong National University, 327, Jungang-ro, Ansung, Gyeonggi-do, 17579, Korea; 2Department of Animal Life and Environment Science, Hankyong National University, 327, Jungang-ro, Ansung, Gyeonggi-do, 17579, Korea.

Abstract | The precise timing of the synthesis and degradation of steroid hormones is crucial for reproductive success. Despite its importance, the luteolytic phenomenon is not well understood, as there is little information regarding the process of luteal cell death during the development of the corpus luteum. In this study, we investigated factors associated with apoptosis during corpus luteum formation according to luteal stage. To determine the function of programmed cell death at the early stage of corpus luteum development, we examined the expression patterns of apoptosis- and autophagy-related genes, which play important roles in the structural regression of the corpus luteum, and found that they were similar to or slightly different from the expression pattern of 20α-hydroxy steroid dehydrogenase. The levels of TNF and Casp-3, which induce apoptosis, were decreased at early luteal stages (CH2 and CH3), while the expression of autophagy genes was high between the CH3 and CL3 stages, and the expression of ATG5, P62, and MAP1LC3A-II, which are autophagy-activating factors, began to increase substantially in theca cells, which are later transformed into luteal cells. Based on the results of these experiments, luteal cells are not simply reorganized by cell apoptosis but instead, a yet unknown hormone control mechanism affects autophagy in early luteal cells and apoptosis at later stages, and plays an important role in the increased hormone synthesis and reorganization of luteal cells.

Keywords | Apoptosis, Autophagy, Estrus, Corpus luteum, Bovine.